#UK Kerry says NATO members ready to step up anti-IS fight


BRUSSELS (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says NATO members stand ready to step up military efforts against the Islamic State.

Kerry says he asked foreign ministers from the 27 other members of the alliance to do more to strike at IS’ core in Iraq and Syria and strangle its international networks.

He says several countries are bringing more to the battle or will do soon.

Speaking Wednesday at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Kerry didn’t outline any new commitments specifically.

Germany recently approved sending forces and materiel for non-combat support roles near the Middle East. A British vote is expected later Wednesday on expanding that country’s airstrikes against IS into Syria.

Kerry said other countries would come forward with new plans after further discussions at home.

Kerry lauded Cameron’s decision to go to Parliament and seek approval for British strikes against IS in Syria.

“This is a very important step. We applaud his leadership,” Kerry told reporters. He urged the Parliament to approve the request.

The secretary also said that Iraq’s government was briefed in advance of the U.S. announcement of new special forces in the region. He said Washington would work with Baghdad on what types of forces deployed, where they go and what types of missions they conduct.

Kerry expressed “full and total respect” for al-Abadi’s leadership, and said plans would go forward “in full consultation and with full consent of the Iraqi government.”

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